It was great to be out and about in Worksop, as part of my first official visit as Minister for Children and Families. This work is likely to take me all over the country, so it was extra special that I got the chance to start off right here at home in Nottinghamshire.
I spoke to frontline social care staff at a children's home who do an incredible job protecting vulnerable children in their care.
Getting support in place early for young people who need it is crucial to raising their outcomes, especially as we work to improve the children’s social care system. I want to say a big thanks to staff at Nottinghamshire County Council for such a warm introduction.
It was also a pleasure to visit NCC Valley Young People’s Centre to speak with workers and to see the local Holiday Activities and Food programme for 2022 delivered through Nottinghamshire County Council, as these clubs gear up for summer delivery.
Backed by £200 million per year for the next three years, our Holiday Activities and Food clubs are supporting young people with opportunities they might not otherwise have during the school holidays.
I also took the time to drop in to Manton Children’s Centre to see how we are supporting families locally and making sure we help give young children the best start in life.
There also been plenty of difficult issues to deal with this week. I have been in daily contact with Nick Fletcher, MP for Don Valley, about the future of Doncaster Sheffield Airport. Nick has been working incredibly hard and has spoken to people at the highest levels of government, as well as other stakeholders, to see what can be done to prevent a closure. Nick has my full support with this, as the airport is a great asset to the wider region and of course many of here in Bassetlaw.
Meetings have been held with owners Peel Group and Nick has also met Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen, who took Teesside International Airport into public ownership when a similar issue arose, again for an airport owned by Peel. Transport is a devolved issue to combined authorities, and therefore it is important to work with South Yorkshire Mayor Oliver Coppard on the issue to help find a solution, whether it be the Teesside option or a private investor comes in. I think we all agree that it would be a tragedy to lose this airport.